Richard Berry road tests and reviews the new Ford Focus RS with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Everybody would love a pet monkey. Who wouldn’t? But trust me, you don’t want one, I’ve looked into it. Sure they do tricks, they’re cute, they’re fun, and they look amazing in period costume, but the reality is they want to bite your face off.

It’s the same with most high performance cars. They seem like fun, but often the reality of living with these beasts can be painful. Too low, too wide, too hard to see out of, injected with too much power and fitted with a suspension that’s way too firm. Amazing fun on a race circuit, but hard to live with as a daily driver.

Which is why the new Ford Focus RS waiting in our car park made me do my excited, quick-walk to meet it, but at the same time made me dread the week ahead with its day-care pick-ups, supermarket shopping trips and peak-hour commuting on typically ordinary city roads.

The hype leading up to the arrival of the Focus RS in July 2016 was huge. That RS badge is a medal of honour worn by fast Fords since the 1970s, and it had been six years since the last Ford Focus RS emerged. 

Word spread fast that all of them would be built in Germany, that they would be packing big horsepower with all-wheel drive and acceleration quick enough to scare a Porsche 911. The fact that Rallycross star and professional hoon Ken Block had helped develop it filled the RS's arrival with even more promise.

It’s still very much a ‘Franken-Focus’ monster in looks and its heart.

It was all true and now it was here. So what was it like to live with – with a family? Does it really have a drift mode? And what was the most painful part of about the experience? Unless you’ve driven one, you’ll never guess.